Fri | Jan 18, 2019

Thousands of students converge on Florida's Capitol urging tougher gun laws

Published:Wednesday | February 21, 2018 | 2:19 PM
Tanzil Philip, 16, a student survivor from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and faculty were killed in a mass shooting, speaks to a crowd of supporters and media as they arrive at Leon High School, in Tallahassee, Florida, on February 20.

Thousands of students have converged on Florida's Capitol to urge legislators to pass tougher gun laws.

Students from Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School spoke Wednesday to reporters inside the Capitol while several thousand people rallied outside the building. She described lawmakers inaction on a bill Tuesday that would have banned assault rifles and large capacity magazines as "absolutely abhorrent."

The students entered a gun-friendly political climate in Tallahassee, where lawmakers have rebuffed gun restrictions since Republicans took control of both the governor's office and the Legislature in 1999.

Outside, the crowd burst into chants of "Vote them out" as speakers called for the removal of Republican lawmakers who refuse to address gun control issues. One sign read "Remember the men who value the NRA over children's lives" and then listed Republicans in Florida's Congressional delegation. Another sign said: "Kill the NRA, not our kids" and "These kids are braver than the GOP."